[Foundation-l] Copyrighted maps and Derived works from copyrighted sources.

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Wed Mar 31 20:00:32 UTC 2010

In Wikipedia we have many subjects that have geo coordinates associated with
them. They are facts. Facts cannot be copyrighted. When these facts are
harvested by data mining Wikipedia, you do not have a derived work from what
is the origin of these facts, you have a new collection of facts and as such
people could attempt to copyright such a collection.

Such a collection however is obvious and does not require any originality.
Consequently a subsequent accumulation of facts may be slightly different
and illustrated the absurdity of claiming a copyright on such a collection.

I have been blogging about maps and Wikipedia recently, two applications
were described; a map with references to Wikipedia articles and a map with
Wikipedia articles looking for an illustration.

In my opinion is a blanket prohibition of maps based on information of
Wikipedia plain silly.


On 31 March 2010 21:20, jamesmikedupont at googlemail.com <
jamesmikedupont at googlemail.com> wrote:

> Hi there,
> I am working alot on openstreetmap.org and there seems to be a big
> difference in how the copyrights of the maps are handled in Wikipedia.
> In wikipedia you will find maps that have no real sources claimed, and
> they are not checked.
> People can just upload any and all maps that they somehow created
> themselves, even if they are derived from works that clearly do not
> allow a creativecommons sharealike processing of them.
> In openstreetmap we are not allowed to import the positions of items
> based on the locations in wikipedia because they are derived from
> geoeye/googlemaps for the most part. So there is a rift between what
> is supposedly creative commons and what is really creative commons.
> Basically wikipedia is turning into a minefield of copyrighted material.
> Why is this permitted and encouraged in wikipedia but forbidden in
> openstreetmap?
> Is there any chance of aligning the policies so that we can use the
> map material in wikipedia for openstreetmap?
> Do you want to start enforcing stricter checking of the sources of maps?
> The idea is that Wikipedia is to host free knowledge, but what good is
> this knowledge of the world (maps) if we cannot use it?
> If wikipedia were to enforce the same standards for maps, there would
> be very few maps available in it.
> thanks,
> mike
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